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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Restorative Moment Following My Recent Genius Encounter (Preceding Blog)

Sometimes the schemes of geniuses can require recovery time and meditative, restorative repasts.  This occurred for me last evening at Walmart.  The roving helpmate Walmart provides in the self-checkout area graciously offered to help this old man with his checkout.  She was genuinely kind and helpful and a great feeling of humility overcame me.

On my way out, however, I noticed she had overlooked a small watchband that had hidden itself in one corner of the cart basket.  With a tremendous feeling of goodwill towards the store due to their thoughtful employee, I immediately turned around and waited for her to have a free moment. I mentioned the unscanned watchband; she thanked me and turned to scan the item and process my credit card.

I told her she had taught me a very important lesson tonight.  Often we think of kindness bearing fruit with reciprocal kindness.  The lesson I learned tonight, I told her, is that kindness can elicit from the goodwill spawned in the heart a practical and operative measure of honesty and integrity.  (What if my initial employee encounter had been characterized by insensitivity satiated with manipulation and cruelty;  would I have turned around like honest Abe to ensure an honest charge… or would I have l left the building feeling fully justified in my fortuitous heist--regretting only that the watchband was not made of solid gold?)

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Trumpism on the Home Front

Before I share with you the experience I am having with my landlord, let me give you a little analogy.

Let's say you have two good friends—a married couple.  One day they notice a sound coming from under your car hood and suggest they know someone in the garage business that may be able to fix it.  On return from the garage they hand you a three page contract offer to replace the engine for $20,000.  Shocked, you ask what did they find was making the noise.  Your friends respond: “Oh, he didn’t lift the hood to check any engine facts.  But he did recognize without question you have an engine noise under the hood.  Replacing the engine will take care of everything.”  Then your friends add, “We regard your friendship so much we are going to keep your car and keys in our possession until you decide to make the engine replacement."

Staff at Westminister Suncoast where I live entered my apartment to inspect and express disgust at my clutter.  They noticed in front of an air supply vent on the living room ceiling an area of black mold—I think most people with any experience of living in Florida would recognize it.  This was the only vent with it.  Despite the fact the landlord changes the filter beneath the return air (monthly I think is the planned schedule), they alleged a recent obstruction near the vent caused the mold. Rather than advising getting a bucket and brush and cleaning it, they immediately called Restoration Companies specializing in mold removal whose bids include figures around $20,000 for their specialized service.  In addition, with such services all your possessions are to be contained and eventually meticulously cleaned or utterly destroyed.  As a staff member wrote to me—it would probably be less expensive to throw all your household possessions away than try to keep them.  During this bidding process the landlord locked me out of my home.

Now here is the Trumpism kicker to all this…the people offering $20,000 bids to clean up are prevented by Florida law from assessing if mold found is dangerous or benign (for obvious conflict-of-interest reasons)..  In other words, I was being given staccato draconian ultimatums (I was being demanded by my landlord to replace my engine without once their looking at the engine to find true condition—with the hood raised—or in the case of mold, to assess mold genus.)

During this time I asked for a second opinion.  I contacted someone they suggested for an objective assessment.  He came to campus and a whole troop us went with him to my apartment.  While in my apartment, the bidder soon donned a mask that could have been part of a costume for the world’s most tragic opera on the far-side of the moon.  He asked about my duct-work.  The operations chief  in charge said it had all been recently replaced.  I  corrected him that only the plenum was replaced when new a/c air handler was installed.  (Was this an innocent error or intentional Terumpism?)  We then all went to the formal conference room for a lengthy, somber dog and pony show.  Remember—all this without knowing more than what a 3-year old child could access---“Yep, that’s mold on my bread.”.

Thinking the world must finally be going crazy, for $575 I engaged a licensed accessor..  (Gee, I must be a Trump-like genius to want to raise the hood and find out a fact or two—never let a dearth of facts get in the way of money grubbing and towering success.) The accessor  came and obtained three air samples—outside, living room, bedroom.  He also took a swath sample from patch by air vent.  He sent them to a micro-bio lab with a specialty in mold identification. Results: neither mold found (the penicillin mold nor mold near vent) was dangerous.

So at long last we find that we do not need hazardous contamination specialized cleaning services—at the most some hoarding clutter organizing or storing off-site and a deep cleaning.  The price for these services are geometrically less expensive than hazardous contamination cleaning.

In my view,  I am owed an apology from Westminster for putting me through hell on earth thinking I must destroy all my possessions and further pay $20,000 or more for hazardous cleaning when, in fact, at no time were their dire threats based on scientific fact nor, apparently, did they make any attempt to get the facts..  The operative Trumpism—If we say it’s true, it’s true...march to our drummer or be damned!.

I think you will find the following documents interesting but not unfamiliar in today’s corporate-pack world where there is a surfeit of glowing compassionate resounding objectives surrounding a heart indifferent and sometimes even rejoicing in the infliction of personal pain.

note:  FECAL MATTER !!!! --  of three finches...

Yep my friends...deep cleaning of life savings......  Remember:  $23,000 for cleaning ONE BEDROOM apartment.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

When We Are Seldom Slow on the Uptake


We have heard much of late regarding the importance of institutional roles in the pursuit of justice.  Unbiased  judgments at the very least imply a certain insulation from financial pressures that would induce less than objective decisions.  If my organization can clearly be in a position to reward you financially for a decision pleasing to me, then objectivity is compromised from the outset.  Lets say I employ a contractor to build me a home.  He in turn may well be dealing with many subcontractors who have worked for him in many large, profitable projects and plan to do so in the future.  Obviously the leverage I have as a one-time-only new-home customer--who will soon in many ways be ancient history--cannot compare with the cohesion of a strong mutually beneficial contractor--subcontrator relationship. For example, say I desired a certain kitchen lighting that the contractor did not want to install, he can with many anticipated projects in view for the lighting subcontractor easily apply pressure upon the lighting subcontractor to agree to nix such lighting.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Love of a Woman

This is Christmas Day--a day that finds me as a patient in St. Anthony’s Hospital. I was here also on Christmas Eve. My wife had carefully planned so that she could join me here in a Christmas Eve celebration. She had made arrangements with a ride service so that she that she could arrive at the hospital bringing her electric scooter with her. Due to a series of communication failures on the part of the transportation company, she irretrievably missed her ride.  She called me in tears that she could not join me. With the help of a dear friend and a loving grandson, she was able to travel to the hospital for a Christmas Eve celebration I will long remember.

I think men will agree that it is tremendously affirming to you as a person to know that your wife lovingly longs for your company on special occasions.  It is a tonic to the soul that yields great fortitude of character and bracing of the spine. 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018


[Podcast of blog]

All are familiar with the eye atop the obverse side of the seal of the United States. It can be seen on the US dollar. Very clearly, the eye over the pyramid is the all-knowing eye of God. God does see the United States as his friend--the New Jerusalem. And he does help us many times.

God can see, know, and do anything.  As our Senior Partner he can share with us new and creative ideas.  But he can also help protect us from treachery.  He can record it the instant of conception and have it on an appropriate desk first thing next morning.

So what do we do, govern with a cadre of inner sanctum ruling priest?  God forbid!!

Let's say that treachery known from day-one matures.  Miraculous video-clips however valuable as super reliable hunches cannot constituent state's evidence for we insist on due process and equality.

Thus, God with a little help from Junior Partners is able to square the circle.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Fateful Formation of Self-Governance

[Podcast of blog]

Image result for quote character is destiny

Many of us find the Trumpism mindset a perplexing monolith of unhinged reflexive thinking made inured over time to facts regarding many things--but particularly the rabid behavior of Russia and her allies in attempting to undermine our democracy. 

Our prayer must be to guide our steps oh Jehovah; for the weightiest part of any decision is the knitting together of deep decision rules that will come back to bless or bite.

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Let All Lands Be Beautiful !!!

[Podcast of this blog]

The other day I heard it said that an ever-present theme of the evangelist Billy Graham was to introduce people to second chances--to help them see the plain possibility of salvation as an imminent and live option.

It strikes me that this inevitably becomes a vital strand for persistently viable social cohesion—for surely as you may need a second chance today; just so I will surely need one tomorrow.

May the Messiah pull up a chair.... and feel right at home in our company!

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